A Wyoming teen playing Pokémon GO accidentally stumbled upon a dead body in Rivermont’s Wind River early on Friday morning.
Pokémon GO, the new Nintendo augmented reality game that encourages players to capture as many Pokémon as possible, has taken the world by storm in less than four days since its release last Wednesday. The mobile app uses GPS to direct players to find Pokémon as well as hidden objects in various locations, and its popularity has already led to a steady flow of bizarre news stories and near-death experiences emerging from users.
On Friday, 19-year-old Riverton resident Shayla Wiggins discovered a dead body floating in the Wind River when trying to catch a Pokémon from a “natural water resource,” according to County 10.
“The Pokémon are all over Riverton,” she said.
Wiggins lives in the B&K Trailer Park with her mother and was playing Pokémon GO when the game directed her to the bridge to find objects.
“I was trying to get a Pokémon from a natural water resource. I was walking towards the bridge along the shore when I saw something in the water.. I had to take a second look and I realized it was a body.”
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 9, 2016
Shocked to find a dead body in the river, Shayla called 911 and detectives arrived soon. She then directed the authorities to where she found the body.
“It was pretty shocking,” Shayla said. “I didn’t really know what to do at first. But I called 911 right away and they came really quickly.”
According to CNET, the body was of an average-size male, wearing a black shirt and black pants. Although the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office refused to divulge more details, officers told Shayla that they believed that the body had been floating in the river for less than 24 hours.
“The death appears to be accidental in nature and possibly that of a drowning. There is no evidence at this time that would indicate foul play. Evidence located at the scene has led investigators to believe the man went into the water at the location he was found. The body was located in about three feet of water on the east side of the Wind River Bridge,” read a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office on its Facebook page shortly after the discovery.
The police statement excluded the phrase Pokémon GO, according to The Verge.
Terrified by the course of events, Shayla said that it took her a while to steady herself after the discovery of the dead body.
“I was pretty scared and cried for a while,” she said.
— Shit Filipinos Do (@filipinoposts) July 10, 2016
As unusual as Shayla’s experience while playing Pokémon GO might have been, it is not the only bizarre story to have emerged from users who have played the game. In Australia’s Northern Territory, for example, police had to release a statement to stop players from entering the police station while playing the game.
“For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokémon Go — whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokéstop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokéballs.
“It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast.
“Stay safe and catch ’em all!”
In yet another unusual story, as reported by Gamespot, the state of Washington’s Department of Transportation sent out a tweet on Saturday, warning drivers not to indulge in “Pokemoning” from behind the wheel.
— Washington State DOT (@wsdot) July 8, 2016
Other reports of users suffering grave injuries while playing the mixed reality game have also emerged in the last few days, and while it is true that Pokémon GO is hugely addictive and a lot of fun, we must remember to be extremely careful so as not to hurt others, or indeed ourselves, while playing the game.
[AP Photo/Richard Vogel]